What better way to commemorate the 65th anniversary of Disneyland than creating one of Walt’s favorite recipes at home – Chili and Beans. Not one for highly seasoned or spicy cuisine, Walt enjoyed food that was hardy and filling, and this dish fit the bill.
Several variations of Walt’s personal Chili and Beans recipe can be found in the Walt Disney Archives – with the first recipe dating back to around 1958. Over the years, Disney chefs have refined the recipe for park guests, and today we are sharing the recipe served at Carnation Café at Disneyland park. Their version adds a bit more seasoning than the original recipe from Walt … for a subtle, spicy kick!
When you dish up this bowl of nostalgia, be sure to serve with saltine crackers – just the way Walt liked it.
Walt’s Chili and Beans from Carnation Café at Disneyland Park
Serves 6 to 8
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 3/4 pounds beef stew meat
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 medium green pepper, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 plum tomatoes, diced
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons beef base
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- Coarse salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 small tomatoes, diced
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in large Dutch oven, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add stew meat and sauté for 10 minutes, until meat is browned on all sides. Remove stew meat from pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to pan, heat for 3 minutes over medium heat.
- Add onions and green pepper. Sauté 8-10 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and sauté one minute longer, until garlic is fragrant.
- Add ground beef. Cook, stirring occasionally to break up large chunks of beef, for 10-12 minutes, until beef is no longer pink. Drain excess fat.
- Return stew meat to the Dutch oven with ground beef mixture. Add ground cumin, chili powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, tomato paste, fresh diced plum tomatoes, diced can tomatoes, beef base, and water.
- Bring chili to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat for 3 hours, until stew meat is tender.
- Add pinto beans. Simmer for 10 minutes, until beans are warm.
- Season with salt, as needed.
- Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and diced tomatoes.
Note: This recipe has been converted from a larger quantity in the restaurant kitchens. The flavor profile may vary from the restaurant’s version. As a reminder while preparing this recipe, please supervise children who are helping or nearby.
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